Another look at Luke: What's unique?

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paradox3

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There are other questions, too.
  • How does this story deepen my understanding of our faith tradition?
  • Does it call me to confession, gratitude, or living my life differently?
  • What further questions does it raise?
 

paradox3

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Luke 7: 36-50 Jesus Anointed/ Two Debtors

Jesus is dining at the home of Simon the Pharisee. A woman, known to be a sinner, learns he is there and arrives with an alabaster jar of perfume. She stands behind him, weeping, and wets his feet with her tears. She wipes his feet with her hair, kisses them, and anoints them with the oil.

Simon is critical. As a prophet, he thinks, Jesus should know what kind of woman is touching him.

Jesus responds with the parable of the two debtors. One has a debt of 500 silver coins and the other 50. When the creditor cancels the debts, the one with the bigger debt will love him more.

He notes that Simon gave him no water for his feet, no kiss, and no oil for his head.

The woman's sins, which are many, are forgiven, Jesus explains. Thus she loved much, He says.

Jesus addresses her, "Your sins are forgiven."

The Pharisees at the table question, "Who is this, who even forgives sins?"

Jesus tells the woman,

"Your faith has saved you. Go in peace." (v.50 NET)
 

paradox3

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Luke gives us evidence of the disconnect between Jesus and the Pharisee, but it seems to be a minor point here.

The parable of the two debtors addresses forgiveness and the response to forgiveness which is acting in love.

When the woman arrives with her jar of perfumed oil and weeps at Jesus' feet, is she expressing remorse? Is she forgiven in that instant? Or does the forgiveness come later in the story?

Jesus contrasts her behavior with Simon's, pointing out that she has not stopped kissing his feet. She wet his feet with her tears, dried them with her hair and anointed them with oil. Thus, she demonstrated her love. She has been forgiven many sins, Jesus, says. But he goes on to tell her directly, "Your sins are forgiven." She is also told to go in peace, as her faith has saved her.

The timeline is confusing. Maybe it is meant to be ambiguous. Is the story is telling us that repentance; accepting forgiveness; and acting in love are all intertwined? And all are part of faith?
 

paradox3

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On another note, it is sometimes speculated that the sinful woman was a prostitute. Or Mary Magdalene. Or both.

Mary Magdalene is mentioned soon in the narrative (Luke 8:2). It says that seven demons had gone out of her but it doesn't say anything about her being a prostitute.
 

paradox3

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The timeline is confusing. Maybe it is meant to be ambiguous. Is the story is telling us that repentance; accepting forgiveness; and acting in love are all intertwined? And all are part of faith?
Or perhaps faith comes first. Is the point that the woman arrives with the faith she will be forgiven by Jesus?

This might give us faith, repentance, forgiveness and acting (responding) in love. In that order.

The parable in the middle of the story tells us that love is the response to forgiveness. I am thinking this must be key to understanding the whole story.
 

paradox3

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Faith in this context seems to mean trust. It doesn't seem to mean holding a certain set of beliefs or being able to affirm a certain creed. This takes me back to yesterday's conversation about mythology and how we understand scripture.
 

Redbaron

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Interesting that Jesus is dining in a home, and the host has shown him no signs of hospitality (washing of feet, anointing with oil, etc). Seems Simon, the Pharisee, has already judged Jesus as a lesser being than himself. He's already prepared to criticize everything Jesus might do. Simon's love' is at a rather low level; it seems that one of the purposes of the parable about the 2 debtors was to call that to his attention.
 

unsafe

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Luke 7
Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman
36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.


My view ----
The woman here in this Scripture seeks out Jesus -----so this shows that she had Faith in who Jesus was as she came there to anoint Jesus -----The scripture is very clear that without Faith we cannot even please God ------ So this woman had to have listened to Jesus preach as this Faith comes by hearing the word of God -----so Faith in Jesus always comes first which instills trust that Jesus can forgive sins ---She came with with an alabaster jar of perfume ------so this shows her faith and trust in Him forgiving her sins was already there -----so her sins had been already forgiven -----and her actions of weeping and if you notice this was not just a small weeping this was major as it was wetting Jesus feet and used her hair to wipe it off and then poured oil on them -----This was a great Display of her Love --Affection and Gratefulness to Him -----she was actually showing her True love for her Saviour by lowering herself to be at His Feet and Kiss them even ------and she did all this before Jesus says anything about her sins being forgiven -----

This is the latter part of the scripture which is important ----because they question Jesus authority verse 49 and in 50 --He gives them a double whammy ----by letting them know that Faith in Him saves ------ which she displayed by her seeking Him out -----

posting verses
48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

I say ----
This is an interesting little verse here

47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
 

paradox3

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Thanks @unsafe. I really like your analysis of the text.
This is an interesting little verse here

47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
Very interesting, yes.

If being forgiven little means one has sinned little, this sounds like something that should be positive.
But it doesn't seem like Jesus means it this way.

Alternatively, being forgiven for little might mean that one has neglected to repent fully.
What is your take on it?
 

unsafe

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Actually for me the answer comes from the Scripture here --- But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

I say------ Jesus is talking with Simon -----and He says this to him ----- ----verses 41 -43

-41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[c] and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

I say
Simon who is the biggest debtor here didn't really give Jesus the timer of day as far as believing in who He really was or showing that he had any Love or Gratefulness for Him for even coming to be in his house ---as a matter of fact he thinks to himself that if Jesus is a prophet he He would know better than to have a sinner touch Him -----So Simon had no forgiveness in his heart for this woman and showed no love or compassion towards her ----so Jesus gives him an awakening call and says this to him ------

verses 44-47 ---jesus says
I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

I say
The Sinner showed great Faith --Trust --- Love and Humbleness and Thankfulness to Jesus when Simon who was God's Chosen show little if any of these ------Simon's is called to forgive and love his neighbour ---and his forgiveness was less than little and therefore his love was the same -----Simon was whitewashed on the outside and corrupt on the inside ----

Scripture says ---out of the Heart the mouth speaks ----So Simon was thinking what was in his heart ------sinners are to be shunned ---

This is my take on it -----
 

paradox3

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There may have been other reasons why Simon the Pharisee did not show Jesus even minimal hospitality. For example, Simon may have invited Jesus into his home to trick him with questions, as we have seen Pharisees do on other occasions.
 

paradox3

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Luke 8: 1-3 Jesus' Ministry and the Help of Women

Jesus carries on throughout the countryside, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God.

The twelve are with him. There are also women who have been healed of evil spirits and disabilities. There is Mary Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna the wife of Cuza (Herod's household manager), Susanna and many others. The women provide for them out of their resources.

For reflection

Some time afterward he went on through towns and villages, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. (Luke 1:1 NET)
 

paradox3

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When I first learned that Joanna and Susanna were biblical names, I was quite surprised. Joanna will appear again at the tomb but this is the only mention of Susanna in scripture.

It is interesting that all the women with Jesus have been healed of evil spirits or disabilities. Although it said to be some time later, this sounds very much like story of the sinful woman at Simon the Pharisee's house (Luke 7).

My study bible tells me that Mary Magdalene is not to be confused with the sinful woman (Luke 7) or Mary of Bethany (John 11).

In addition to the twelve men, Luke makes it clear that a group of women accompanied Jesus and contributed to His ministry.

After yesterday's puzzler, this text seems straightforward enough. Unless I am missing something. :)
 

Redbaron

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There is another Susanna in biblical tradition, in the Deuterocanonicals, as an addition to the book of Daniel., A chaste women is falsely accused by religious authorities; Daniel questions the 2 authorities, finds their stories contradictory, and Susanna is exonerated. Since is does seem to be a rare name in the Bible, I wonder of there isn't some connection between this woman in Luke's gospel, who supports the work of Jesus, and the woman in the Daniel story, who is exonerated from a serious accusation....
 

Waterfall

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Luke gives us evidence of the disconnect between Jesus and the Pharisee, but it seems to be a minor point here.

The parable of the two debtors addresses forgiveness and the response to forgiveness which is acting in love.

When the woman arrives with her jar of perfumed oil and weeps at Jesus' feet, is she expressing remorse? Is she forgiven in that instant? Or does the forgiveness come later in the story?

Jesus contrasts her behavior with Simon's, pointing out that she has not stopped kissing his feet. She wet his feet with her tears, dried them with her hair and anointed them with oil. Thus, she demonstrated her love. She has been forgiven many sins, Jesus, says. But he goes on to tell her directly, "Your sins are forgiven." She is also told to go in peace, as her faith has saved her.

The timeline is confusing. Maybe it is meant to be ambiguous. Is the story is telling us that repentance; accepting forgiveness; and acting in love are all intertwined? And all are part of faith?
Back tracking a bit to yesterday......how does this woman washing Jesus' feet compare to the reasons for Jesus washing his disciples feet in John's gospel? Did Jesus receive forgiveness too ? or are there various reasons for washing someone's feet? or is it something else altogether?
 

Redbaron

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Likely more commonly known as the 'Apocrypha'; but 'Deuterocanonicals' includes the recognition that some view the books as part of the Canon.
 

paradox3

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Back tracking a bit to yesterday......how does this woman washing Jesus' feet compare to the reasons for Jesus washing his disciples feet in John's gospel? Did Jesus receive forgiveness too?
She didn't exactly wash His feet. She wept on them and used her hair to dry her tears.

Didn't Jesus wash the disciples' feet as a sign of hospitality and/ or servant-hood? In Luke 7, Jesus points out to Simon that he offered no water for His feet. This stands in contrast to the sinful woman.

What parallels do you see?
 

Waterfall

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She didn't exactly wash His feet. She wept on them and used her hair to dry her tears.

Didn't Jesus wash the disciples' feet as a sign of hospitality and/ or servant-hood? In Luke 7, Jesus points out to Simon that he offered no water for His feet. This stands in contrast to the sinful woman.

What parallels do you see?
I really don't know, I could easily see foot washing as an act of servitude or "less than" but my understanding of Jesus is that he want's to lift us up to a higher understanding and an equality.....whereas there are also some writers that would suggest it is a form of humbling ourselves. Was Jesus saying his disciples would also become leaders as much as he was by "humbling himself" or was this woman teaching Jesus something?
If I were washing someones feet today it would be to comfort or fulfill a need, not an act of worship likely.....but the bible does focus alot on sin so the answer becomes automatic for us to go there......don't mind me, I'm just brainstorming outloud.
Curious as to what others think.
 

paradox3

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don't mind me, I'm just brainstorming outloud.
You might be conflating a couple of the stories. :unsure:
I could easily see foot washing as an act of servitude
Yes, John's gospel reads this way. But foot washing was also an act of hospitality in biblical times. One's feet got quite dusty while traveling. In John it even says that people who are already clean only need their feet washed.
was this woman teaching Jesus something?
I saw Jesus learning something from the Syro-Phoenician woman when we discussed her on the Mark thread. I don't see him learning anything from the sinful woman in Luke 7.
 
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